LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers Odds & Pick: How to Bet Saturday’s MLS Matchup (Oct. 16)

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers Odds & Pick: How to Bet Saturday’s MLS Matchup (Oct. 16) article feature image
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Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Galaxy star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

  • Portland makes the trip down the coast to play Los Angeles on Saturday night.
  • The Galaxy are winless in their last nine, while the Timbers are unbeaten the last eight times out.
  • Check out Ian Quillen's breakdown and top pick for the game, below.

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Odds

LA Galaxy Odds -110
Portland Odds +280
Draw +295
Over/Under 2.5 (-180 / +145)
Day | Time Saturday | 10:30 p.m. ET
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The Los Angeles Galaxy try to stop their extended slide Saturday when they host surging Portland in Major League Soccer action.

The Galaxy is winless in their last nine after settling for a 1-1 draw against Los Angeles Football Club in its final game prior to the October international break. In the process, Los Angeles has dropped to sixth in the race for seven Western Conference playoff spots.

Meanwhile, the Timbers are unbeaten in their last eight games with seven wins, while climbing above the Galaxy into fourth place in the conference.

Los Angeles and Portland split their previous two meetings, with each team winning by three goals at home. The Timbers capitalized on a red card to Derrick Williams to produce a 3-0 win on May 22. The Galaxy scored three unanswered goals in a 4-1 home win back on July 30.

Chicharito, Los Angeles Seeking Consistency

The Galaxy may have been sputtering before the international break, but appeared relatively content with in their 1-1 draw with LAFC two weekends ago.

Samuel Grandsir scored his third goal of the year. It was also his first with striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in the lineup, which might be a promising sign.

Chicharito leads Los Angeles with 12 goals, but the Galaxy have only scored 21 goals in the 16 games he has played. And they have yet to score multiple goals in six games since his return from a calf injury that kept him out two-and-a-half months.

So maybe — just maybe — Grandsir’s tally is a sign of an attack that’s ready to excel beyond Chicharito’s heroics.

Defensively, the expected-goals totals show a Galaxy side that has been more unlucky than poor. Los Angeles have been outscored, 9-3, over its last five matches. However, they’ve edged the xG totals by a 6.0-5.2 margin in that stretch, according to StatsBomb.

Williams and and fellow defender Jorge Villafana are questionable for manager Greg Vanney in this matchup.

Portland Riding Hot Streak into Crucial Clash

Most impressive about the Timbers’ hot streak is it began with three consecutive away wins and includes four in total.

To put that in perspective, Portland has more road wins in its last eight matches than 18 MLS teams have during the entire season.

Following their last — a 2-1 triumph at LAFC — the Timbers saw off a sliding Inter Miami side in a 1-0 win through substitute Jaroslaw Niezgoda’s second goal of the season two weeks back. Niezgoda still hasn’t played more than 11 minutes since his return from an ACL tear suffered on the final weekend of the 2020 season.

He was one of four Timbers players to score at least seven goals a season ago, and could add yet another dimension to a team that has improved internally throughout the year.

So far, that improvement has been driven by Dairon Asprilla’s breakout season and 2020 MLS is Back Tournament MVP Sebastian Blanco’s return from his own ACL tear.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

The three-way line surprises me here, with not much consideration given to these clubs’ respective form. And it takes away the appeal of playing a Galaxy side that appears in line for a regression sooner or later.

Because here’s the thing: The Galaxy’s slide is partly bad luck. Yet, Portland’s hot run is largely about genuine improvement and return of injured personnel.

The Galaxy are also returning six players from international duty, including immensely important midfielders Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos.

So, although Vanney had two weeks of training to try and work on the issues contributing to Los Angeles’ struggles, he hasn’t been able to work with many of his starters to do so.

Opposing manager Giovanni Savarese had only three call-ups out over his international break.

In short, my lean is to the visitors, but I can’t quite decide whether to play the Timbers to win or just earn at least a point. So, I’m splitting the difference, playing Portland on the Asian Handicap line of +0.25 at +130 odds.

That’s a better price than the odds at +0.5 goals. In exchange, if it finishes level, half the stake pays out at +130 and half pushes.

Pick: Portland +0.25 (+130)

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